Benjen Stark made a reappearance in Game of Thrones Season 6 after a long time being missing north of the Wall. There were a few people who had forgotten about him, as is the case with various characters who haven’t been seen in a while. Here’s a breakdown of who Benjen Stark was and who he might be now.
Benjen is the younger brother of Lord Eddard Stark. He chose to be a member of the Night’s Watch, and his reappearance had been foreshadowed in Game of Thrones Season 6. The last time he was seen was back in Season 1, when he went out with his ranger party and only the horses returned. It led to the Night’s Watch going out in search of him and the others, only to find that he was missing.
Game Of Thrones Season 6 Spoilers: Benjen Stark Returns; Who Is… https://t.co/TNww4JAfER pic.twitter.com/8vHWaI8979
— Game of Thrones (@Gameofnews24) May 31, 2016
It turns out that he had been found by White Walkers and killed with a sword of ice. The Children found him and saved him with dragon glass; the same way they had created the Night’s King.
There have been numerous hints that he would return at some point. The main thing to remember is that a character is not dead on Game of Thrones until they have been seen dead – and in many cases in the North, their bodies have been burned. Jon Snow regularly asked about his uncle, and Snow just wanted to find him but was never allowed. Just before Jon’s death in Season 5, there were flashbacks that included Benjen, hinting that he would return for the episode. That never happened.
Benjen was mentioned at the start of Season 6 when Bran was visiting the past. This was another hint — and foreshadowing for this season — that he would return. He has come back to help save Bran and Meera from the White Walkers after they lost their travelling companion, protector, and friend, Hodor.
He’s not a White Walker, but he isn’t the same Benjen Stark he used to be. He has now been referred to by Game of Thrones‘ showrunners as Coldhands.
— Radio Times (@RadioTimes) June 1, 2016
Coldhands is a character in A Song of Ice and Fire who has already been introduced, as Bustle reports. This is a character that had been notably missing from Game of Thrones. He is described in the books as looking like the undead Walker zombies, and he has black, dead hands. Benjen’s hands haven’t been seen yet, but they were covered with gloves. It is possible that, underneath the gloves, they are completely black. His face does suggest that the flesh has started rotting, and in the books Coldhands is described as having a smell of rotting flesh.
In the books, Coldhands appeared to save Sam and Gilly from death. In Game of Thrones this storyline was changed for Sam to kill a White Walker with dragon glass. He is also a guide for Bran and Meera, along with Hodor and Jojen, to get to the Three Eyed Raven. As the group have already gotten there and escaped, it is possible that Game of Thrones is bringing him in to help protect Bran and Meera now they are on their own.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) May 30, 2016
A Song of Ice and Fire readers had already theorized that Coldhands is Benjen Stark. Now it looks like the show has taken that storyline. Book fans have feared that Game of Thrones Season 6 will give away a lot of plot points in the books, and that certainly seems to be the pattern with Bran’s storyline. In Episode 5, Hodor’s past was revealed, surprising and saddening many who watched the episode.
Game of Thrones Season 6 continues on Sundays on HBO. Benjen Stark is now back and his storyline is expected to be revealed over the next few episodes. Will he turn out to be Coldhands?
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